THREADS: RANGITOTO ISLAND IS GOLDEN HOUR

Threads

Golden Hour is the time of the day when the sun sets and rises. Something I picked up in film school while discovering a passion for cinematography; if the sun is present its light appears more reddish. At the time I was also playing with using the flash during daylight for effect. So I got Whitney and Luke to go experiment. I love working with these two! 


LOCATION:

Rangitoto is Māori for ‘Bloody Sky’, with the name coming from the full phrase Ngā Rangi-i-totongia-a Tama-te-kapua (“The days of the bleeding of Tama-te-kapua”). Tama-te-kapua was the captain of the Arawawaka (canoe) and was badly wounded on the island, after having lost a battle with the Tainui iwi (tribe) at Islington Bay.

Because Whit grew up on the Shore, she helped pick the location but I also feel it’s a bit
serendipitous that I set out to capture ‘Golden Hour’ which refers to the redness of sunlight featured at dawn and dusk – then ended up shooting at a location that means ‘Bloody Sky’ without knowing at the time…

TECHNICALITIES

I shot this on a Canon 550D that I bought for $600 from Cash Converters in Hamilton. At the time I was lacking confidence as a photographer, but also using the flash and aiming to publish photos in colour – it was all new and intimidating. There are shots from this shoot I wish I could use but there are small things I missed when shooting which make them almost, but not quite shots. One example is nailing a good moment of one model and forgetting to check the others’ facials. Reflecting on this shoot I realised I needed to slow down and pick my moments more carefully.. I also think I’d need a stronger lens that can handle focusing on subjects better so they’re sharper in the distance whilst including the background/wide shot.

MOMENT

I like that both models are chill/gentle humans, I think that translates through the shots. I like the contrast of branded streetwear in something organic like the ocean, just not sure exactly why yet..possibly got to do with the deconstruction of what you’d expect? In the  shot below I love that the sun is shining over Rangitoto like a spotlight and the flash is what illuminates the models in the foreground. There’s something that feels really classic about this composition to me and, with a better camera, I would like to do it again properly.

STYLING

 Whitney also styled the shoot. Check out her Instagram of one off pre-loved pieces HERE

T H R E A D S: Yeezy Season 1 — “Awesome is possible”

Threads

“Were not always in the position that we want to be at, we’re constantly growing, constantly making mistakes, constantly trying to express ourselves and trying to realize our dreams” ∼ Kanye West

11 years after releasing College Dropout, Kanye West is still a revolutionary. He’s still an activist. Rich, but still restless at heart. If he died tomorrow his face would be slapped onto t-shirts and pumped out to the masses stupidly and blindly campaigning against capitalism, just like they did with Che and Dilla. Yeezy Season 1 comes to us via Adidas, but the brand works well, as Pat Ngoho, the 2014 International Skateboarder’s Union bowl champion said:

“There’s really no doubt that Adidas is probably the coolest shoe out there. They’ve just been accepted culturally around the world, in so many different circles and every single time they just do it in a very cool manor, so I’m stoked to be rocking em.”

The pieces in Yeezy’s new line feels like the modern day ‘gangsta’ taken out of the sagging pants cliché. The irony of it all is that Kanye the hated is giving it to the nay-sayers. From the streets to the cat walk, for Kanye, clothing seems to simply be another  facet of his deep and in-tune sense of self-expression. 

Season 1 isn’t made for those who loved College Dropout then got sick of him; his wife, her family or his big mouth. This line is made for those who saw the genius in the production, dating back to the Blueprint, and knew that no matter what he got up to, Kanye the visionary has a plan for hip hop and the youth. The question is, can you see it?

He says “It’s bigger than who I am even in this, you know, in my presence living, it’s about, what did I do to help? I want people to think more, I want people to feel like it’s okay to create and follow what their dreams are and not feel boxed in. I want people to feel like awesome is possible”.

It’s hard to get intentional rips in garments to look like they formed naturally. As aesthetically pleasing as all the ruggedness is, fashion-wise, it is a risk you take if your production doesn’t execute well. From the photos it seems Yeezy wanted it, took the risk, and achieved a good result with Adidas behind him. Season 1 is militant, mixed race, deep, classic, moody, future. It sort of reminds me of that movie Gattaca. But better because it’s a post apocalyptic world designed by Kanye, like a ghetto in the sky. I could see Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke in these threads though….and that’s why think it works for everyone.